The Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA) has announced that more than 46,000 new domain names were registered in the UAE national domain .ae in 2022. This brings the total number of registered domain names to 300,000 as of the first quarter of 2023, representing an increase of nearly 20 percent compared to 2022. The .ae domain is now the most widely used national domain and one of the fastest-growing domains in the Arab region.
The significant increase in registrations reflects the growing interest of government entities, individuals, and companies in utilising the national domain due to its various benefits. These include providing credibility to registered entities' work and protecting the intellectual and commercial property rights of trademark owners.
The .ae domain offers several features, including an exceptional user experience, the availability of distinguished names and abbreviations that can match the official website, trademark, email, or blog. Entities and individuals can easily register their activities within minutes through a list of TDRA-approved registrars, which can be found on TDRA's official website.
Abdulrahman Al Marzouqi, Director of the Policies and Programs Department at TDRA, emphasised the importance of registering entities and individuals in .ae, stating, "The UAE boasts the most developed and competitive economy in the region, which provides a significant advantage for businesses and companies that own a .ae domain. It enhances the confidence of customers and partners in the organisation that owns the domain. Additionally, there are many benefits, including the ease and speed of obtaining a domain and the possibility of obtaining a name that aligns with the nature or name of the business. Currently, we have 23 accredited companies in the UAE competing to provide domain registration services at competitive prices."
Al Marzouqi further added, "The domain name is an integral part of any organisation's trademark, and at TDRA, we attach exceptional importance to the protection of trademark owners. We have implemented a fair dispute policy to safeguard their rights, and we utilise the services of the World Intellectual Property Organisation to ensure unbiased judgments."
In addition to facilitating entity identification and optimising search engine results, the .ae domain contributes to achieving a secure digital society by enabling easy tracking of the registration process and registrants. TDRA has implemented clear policies to prevent technology misuse and safeguard the digital society.
The steady increase in .ae registrants, which amounted to 20 percent last year, highlights the economic significance of the UAE as a major economic hub in the Middle East. Notable international companies using the .ae domain include, but are not limited to, Amazon and Google.
To further develop the UAE national domain, the .ae website was launched this year, featuring support from ChatGPT technology. It offers several advantages, such as speed and the suggestion of distinctive names based on the user's description of their commercial activity. Additionally, ChatGPT supports search in Arabic, the local dialect, and the English language.